‘The Last Words of the Martyrs’ Models What Our Christian Witness Should Be

Juicy Ecumenism | 9/16/2019 | Chelsen Vicari
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“The martyrs’ stories involve suffering and death, but their secret message is all about life–the real life that every follower of Christ desperately thirsts for.”

As several Christian denominations in the West struggle with steep membership decline, it’s essential to understand why the Church is steadily growing in some of the most oppressive places in the world.

Words - Martyrs - Lessons - Believers - Who

In The Last Words of the Martyrs: Life-Changing Lessons from Persecuted Believers Who Paid the Ultimate Price, Jeff King, the president of International Christian Concern, provides some explanations for the links between suffering and destruction and hope and spiritual growth. Persecution for loving Jesus Christ, King writes, is actually a great gift to Church, because “[Satan] forgets that human beings are spiritually combustible. Blowing out the flame of one believer merely spreads his sparks to the tinder around him.”

Suffering Christians isn’t exactly a page-turner of a subject. This weighty topic, however, offers good news, as King lets personal accounts of courage, self-sacrifice, and a greater love unfold across the pages.

Chapter - Readers - Martyrs - Backgrounds - Husbands

In each chapter, readers are introduced to Christian martyrs from all backgrounds. We meet husbands, wives, expectant mothers, small children, missionaries, pastors, politicians, prisoners, brick workers, and innocent churchgoers–including a ten-year-old boy–who paid the ultimate price for following Jesus.

Admittedly, I found myself needing to take breaks after reading stories, particularly those involving the suffering of young children. Even so, I returned to the book, knowing that the stories did not end with evil acts. The Good News shines through the darkness. Every story of a martyr included in The Last Words of the Martyrs ends with some glimmer of hope, such as:

Family - Member - Display - Forgiveness - Christ

A family member’s display of forgiveness as Christ forgives us.

“The Last Words of the Martyrs: Life-Changing Lessons from Persecuted Believers Who Paid the Ultimate Price”


Strengthened regional ministry.

Greater closeness to God amid the pain.


Conversion of...
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